The SAG-AFTRA union has already stood up to TV and film companies with no apparent resolution in sight, and now it looks as if the union is also preparing to do battle on a second front, as it started asking members to vote on whether it should begin a second strike against video game companies as well.
The issues at the heart of this matter are similar to ones plaguing the film industry, specifically protection against the use of AI to duplicate voice performers and a retroactive 11% increase in pay rates. SAG is also seeking safety provisions similar to ones in TV and film production like an on-set medic, rest periods, and a stop to stunts during self-taped auditions.
The union says that it was in talks to extend its existing contract with video game companies including heavies like Electronic Arts and Activision, but talks on that front reached a stalemate. Contract talks are scheduled to resume on September 26th, while ballots on whether to begin this second strike are due by September 25th.
“We all want a fair contract that reflects the important contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers,” said spokesperson Audrey Cooley on behalf of video game companies. “We are negotiating in good faith and hope to reach a mutually beneficial deal as soon as possible.”
Union president Fran Drescher, meanwhile, says the strikes are to stop the “greed and disrespect” from game companies. “Once again artificial intelligence is putting our members in jeopardy of reducing their opportunity to work. And once again, SAG-AFTRA is standing up to tyranny on behalf of its members,” says Drescher.